Festival of Quilts - it's all about quilts, quilting, quilt fabrics, quilt machines, tools, techniques, accessories. It's a mecca for quilting and we love it. It brings people from all over Europe and the rest of the world to...Birmingham. It's my home town so I'm even happier! Yay!
It was our first show as Pinhole Quilting with our full line-up of Handi Quilter machines and here's a quick roundup of the four days of the show. I'm not going to post many photos of quilts because I know there are lots of Facebook links out there but also because I hardly got to take any pictures off the stand!
Lynda Jackson, Handi Quilter Ambassador showing a few customers how to free motion quilt on the Infinity 26" longarm machine.
Mark Hyland, from Handi Quilter USA, showing a customer one of the optional free motion quilting feet that are available to fit all the Handi Quilter machines (that have interchangeable Handi Feet).
Admiring Annelize Littlefair's Quilt - "The Trouble with Magenta..." which won First Prize in the Traditional Quilts category. Quilted on her Handi Quilter Avante.
Handi Quilter Educator Debby Brown taught two classes each afternoon of Festival of Quilts. The 1.5 hour class showed students how to use a ruler, minimal mark techniques using Golden Threads paper and free motion quilting techniques using Debby's favourite design - Ribbon Candy.
Abigail Sheridan de Graaff joined us for the first time as a Handi Quilter Demonstrator. Abigail owns a Handi Quilter Avante longarm and was ideally placed to show potential customers some of the features of the Avante.
Birgit Schueller, Handi Quilter Ambassador in Germany visited the Festival of Quilts in the UK for the first time and was delighted to find herself winning the Quilters Guild Challenge with her quilt - Speed. It was quilted on her Handi Quilter Avante and reflects her love of running. The grey figure represents our past which is always there as a reminder of past failures. The figures break through from their past to win on the finish line. There is so much thought that goes into making an award winning quilt so it is always interesting to hear the background from the maker. It is a stunning quilt.
Abigail showing how the Avante works - it's very easy! Her award-winning quilt is in the background.
Helen Kent, Editor of British Patchwork and Quilting Magazine test driving the Simply Sixteen.
Our display wall of Handi Quilter customer's quilts.
The two-colour quilts are part of the Radiance Challenge. Each year Handi Quilter owners in the UK are invited to take part in a challenge set by award-winning quilter Annelize Littlefair. Last year the challenge was to produce an 18" x 18" quilt using Radiance fabric on your longarm with half of the design in one colour and quilted in a contrasting thread with the other half as a mirror image. It was definitely a challenge.
Everyone who takes part says how much their skill levels increase as a result. In 2017 there were two challenges - Wholecloth and Quilting from Reverse. If you visit the Grosvenor Shows you will see these quilts as they tour around the UK.
Lynda Jackson running the Infinity 26" through it's paces. Lynda is running Beginner, Intermediate and One on One workshops from her Studio in Sheffield.
Debby Brown, Handi Quilter Educator, showing a visitor the features of the Sweet Sixteen.
Abigail showing the 16" throat longarm the Simply Sixteen to a visitor.
Lynda Jackson with the Infinity 26" Longarm. Lynda has just been appointed a Handi Quilter Ambassador which is a huge accolade and well-deserved.
Debby Brown provided two classes each day on the Simply Sixteens to groups of quilters on our stand. She showed how to use rulers and free motion quilting techniques as well as ways of quickly marking reference lines on your quilt using Golden Threads paper and Pounce Chalk.
Community, education, excellent support and innovative products that enhance your creativity are just some of the reasons why six out of every ten longarms in the world is a Handi Quilter.
Nadine, Karen and Diana - they've all previously worked at The Cotton Patch stand and came over to say "hi"!
You're never too young (or to old!) to quilt.
Visitors from Scotland who came down to have a closer look at the Simply on our Debby Brown classes.
Handi Quilter Ambassador Stuart Hillard quilts on a Handi Quilter Avante with Pro Stitcher. He was chatting to BBC Radio stations all over the UK on the first morning before the show opened.